Robin Good: 13 Sense-Making Approaches to Add Value to Information

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Robin Good
Robin Good

According to Harold Jarche, knowledge is an emergent property of all sense-making activities.

Curation and PKM (personal knowledge management) have the same objective: helping oneself and others gain more understanding about whatever we are interested in. The only difference between the two is that curation devotes itself to satisfy the knowledge needs of an audience while the second addresses these at a personal level.

But what are sense-making activites about?

Harold Jarche draws on Ross Dawson's five ways of adding value to information as well as on Nancy Dixon examination Rob Cross and Lee Sproull examination of tacit knowledge sharing practices inside large organizations to identify at least eight individual approaches to sense-making or adding more value to existing information.

These include:

  1. Validating
  2. Synthesizing
  3. Presenting
  4. Customizing
  5. Answering
  6. Meta-informing
  7. Reformulating
  8. Legitimizing
    to which I would personally add:
  9. Comparing
  10. Finding related items
  11. Illustrating – Visualizing
  12. Evaluating
  13. Crediting and attributing

It is indeed around identifying and becoming aware of these specific aspects of our sense-making activities that we can improve and augment our capability to learn and to effectively curate information for others.

Thoughtful. Inspiring. 8/10

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